Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 11, 2013

60…How did that happen?


I was born on 1st March 1953, the year of the water snake in the Chinese Horoscope. 2013 is also a water snake year, which means that I must be 60. This seems strange to me as I feel about 35. Where do the years go?

Surely it was only a few years ago that I was leaving school and heading off into my adult life. I recall taking a baby home from the hospital and now he is nearly 40. It is going too fast and I want it to slow down.

I really don’t mind being 60. I have an interesting life full of fun. I have a wonderful family and great friends. I am healthy and get to travel the world. If it wasn’t for the occasional shock when I look in the mirror I would really believe I was 35.

On that note I will leave you with a poem by Michael Leunig called…The Mirror.

Each year my mirror seems much older

Somewhat duller and a fraction colder

The glass which always gleamed and twinkled

Now appears all scratched and wrinkled

Appears more blotchy, tired and droopy

Confused and haggard, dazed and loopy

Sadder, slower, grimmer, glummer

I think that I’ve been sold a bummer


  1. You are timeless to me darling Deb. xx

    • 60 is especially good when you consider the alternative.

  2. Happy birthday, darling Deb! You are 60 years young! xxx

    • Thank you. I feel quite young. It is amazing really. When you are 30, 60 seems ancient, but looking at it from this side is quite different.

  3. HAPPY HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY DEBRA. I knew you had a very special day this month. I just did not know which day. May all your birthday wishes come true Lyn

    • Thank you. I have been pretty lucky with my wishes.

  4. What’s in a number? You’re a babe inside and out. And I feel so lucky to know you! Auguri cara! xxx

    • It is just a number, I don’t mind at all.

  5. Happy Birthday Debra…..I am sure we will celebrate your special day when we arrive……Jim and Kerry

    • An aperitivo at the bar sounds like a good idea.

  6. Hi Debbie,
    Stop complaining, I have just turned 80. Now that’s something to complain
    about. And yes, I thought old people were O.P. (other people) I certainly
    don’t feel 80, maybe 60 and it’s good. So you are 35 and I am 60. OK?

    Cheers Pam

    • If I look as good as you do when I am 80 I will be thrilled to bits.

  7. Happy belated birthday.. 60 is young don’t worry about it!

    • I now think 60 is quite young, I just want it all to go a bit more slowly.

  8. Oh dear and I am your older friend and I too feel 35. Sounds a good number! Anyway no complaints for either of us I would say.

    • I’m not complaining…it’s all good.

  9. brave to say…and I relate too and like you I don’t feel the age I am and I am sure we look so much younger than our parents did at our age. As you say, be grateful for the good things we have.

    • We need to make the most of every day.

  10. Buon compleanno!! Those birthdays where you suddenly get a decade older are always quite a surprise.

    • Grazie. These birthdays are a very big surprise.

  11. all the best……

  12. Happy Birthday and keep on trucking! It sounds as though you have a wonderful life and are a generous warm spirit. Auguroni!

    • I am very lucky to be able to spend my time doing things I love.

  13. Love the poem! I know just how you feel & I’m 6 years older! The difference is… I do care & find it quite frightening.

    • Just blame it on the mirror.

  14. 60 is a fine number. I think the issue is not how many years but what have you done with them, and how much you have learned living them.

    • I agree, we need to make the most of our lives. We only get one.

  15. Happy Birthday, Debra. I’m a few years ahead of you but my imagination is only 25. It would all be fine if we could just slow it down a bit. I think the only answer is to savor each day and enjoy life to the fullest. You seem to be doing that quite well. Celebrate you!

    • Every day is great, even these wet miserable ones.

  16. Happy birthday Debra never mind the numeral , how many 60 year olds are living a life remotely like yours. Keep on defying the years. Cheers Donna.
    Ps We met in bagni di lucca at the cafe across from your abode last July ( jenny bill mark and I) and then was so fortunate to experience the magical voices of your friends in lucca. Ahhh such special memories.

    • I remember meeting at the bar. Perhaps you will come back one day.

  17. Happy belated birthday, Debra! Like good wine, some lucky people get better with time and you certainly belong to that group. It may be because you do know how to enjoy life.

    • We only get one life so we need to enjoy it.

  18. Deb,

    Oooops and belated congratulations upon joining the club.

    Mine was ’52 and was Year of the (water) Dragon.

    Funny tho as I am the same as you in the fact that I do not feel nor do I ever act my age.

    All the very best and congratulations again.

    Hope to catch up with you soon for that elusive fine shiraz…




    • Come on over to Bagni di Lucca and we can arrange that shiraz.

  19. Happy belated birthday Debra – it is only a number. I will be 75 on Wednesday and like you, I am in good health and enjoying life. Loved the poem.

    • Happy Birthday to another Pisces. Have a great day.

  20. Started reading your blog just recently, after turning 66, and feeling like these were interesting life, but being worried of some of the ailments that come with older age. Happy Birthday!

    • Staying healthy is the most important thing.

  21. Hello Deb,
    I hope you had a happy birthday. I’ll have a glass of champagne for you.

    I can relate to the mirror bit – I’d look in the mirror more, but some wrinkled old woman keeps standing in front of me!!

    Audrey turns 89 on Thursday 14th . She never lets mirrors worry her.

    Was reading Gourmet Traveller today, noticed a Travel Photography Awards promotion and thought of you.
    Donna & Audrey

    • Please wish your Mum a happy birthday for me. I hope she is well.

  22. You look fabulous! Happy, Happy Birthday! I am right behind you in December-yes indeed-where does the time go? Let’s have a celebratory drink together in the fall!

    • I look forward to an aperitivo on the wall in Lucca.

  23. Oh wow. I hope you have a happy, happy birthday. I’m struggling with aging too. It’s a very, very strange experience. I try to stay positive, but, you’re right, that person in the mirror just doesn’t look like me. And it’s a bit of a bummer. Oh well.

    • What can you do? Make the most of what we have.

  24. A much belated Happy Birthday! Wishing you another beautiful 60 years! πŸ™‚

    • I’d be happyy with 40 good ones.

  25. Another belated Happy Birthday. Positive attitudes are priceless – so don’t lose it!

    • Looking on the bright side of life always helps.

      • Cheers to that and to you!

  26. Mirrors lie…believe me πŸ™‚
    Happy birthday Debra, we are as old as we feel!

    • I’m blaming the mirror. Thank you for the birthday wishes.

  27. Happy birthday! I hit the big 60 last September and I so totally understand what you mean — I’m in better health and more agile now than I was at 35 and I do NOT believe I could be that old woman in the mirror!

    • 60 is great. I am looking forward to another wonderful year.

  28. Like a good wine we just keep getting better apart from the few aches and pains! Life is to be enjoyed and you certainly know how to do that. Can’t wait to catch up. Enjoy the spring.

    • Spring is dragging its feet a bit, but it will be green and gorgeous soon.

  29. Yeah I hear you sister. I turn 50 this year but feel like I am still about 10!

    • You can’t be 50. We met 5 minutes ago and you were 30.

  30. Hi Debra
    Happy Happy Birthday xx Don’t worry about the mirror we all have one !!! just be happy and keep laughing. Debra you have a fantastic life filled with adventure and the best part is you share your adventure with us all.
    We have just come back from South America and Antarctica and Frank turned 70 so there. Enjoy being 60 ….
    Thank you x. Lorraine and Frank

    • I would love to go to Antarctica. I want to hear all about it.

  31. That’s my favourite Leunig. It makes me laugh every time I think of it and happily for me I think of it every time I look in the mirror these days! Laughter sweetens most of life’s knobbly bits.

    • Blame the mirror. It can’t be us.

  32. Happy Birthday for 1 March, Debra. I’m 60 tomorrow and feel exactly the same as you!!

    • Happy birthday…enjoy being 60.

  33. Happy Birthday, Debra!

    My favorite Science Fiction author, Robert A Heinlein, once wrote that a girl never grows older than 19 in her heart. You are as deliciously young as YOU want to be.

    By my account (for whatever that’s worth), you are just at the threshhold of “middle” age – you know where your head is, have everything (or mostly everything) in one sock and it’s tied off at the top, your engine is revved up, and you’re sitting in the pole position on the race track! Go for it! Live life in BIG bites – moderation is for monks!

    Rob and Martha

    • Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like mad has always been my motto…and it has served me well.

      • Good for you, girl!

  34. Well done for feeling 35 at 60, which is what really matters. I’m starting to feel 63 at 63, which is a bit of a worry.

    • You seem to be doing well to me. Don’t look in that bad mirror.

  35. Traveling the world and making most of it feel like home keeps you “35”, Happy Birthday!

    ps – Mirrors, at this point, are only a decorative element in the home.

    • I am very lucky that I am able to travel so much.

  36. Buon Compleanno dear Debra. I hope you have a wonderful 60th year full of lots of wonderful adventures.

    • Thank you…I am working on those adventures.

  37. congratulations and Happy Birthday Debra!

    • Thank you. I’m sure 60 is going to be good.

  38. Debra, since I don’t know you personally, your blog is your mirror to me. What I see in this mirror is a young, energetic, generous person who travels the world, never gets jet-lagged, enjoys life and shares part of it with her friends, virtual ones included. Many, many happy returns!

    • Thank you for your lovely thoughts.

  39. They say that you’re only as old as you feel. Age is just a number.
    Happy Birthday! Best wishes for many more years of health and happiness.

    • I don’t feel old at all…except for the reflection in that bad mirror.

  40. Happy birthday Debra and may you always remain young at heart!! πŸ™‚

    • I’m working on it.

  41. Happy Birthdat Debra! There is something about the decade birthdays that is bothersome. I turned 40 last year and it really freaked me out. It felt like I was a child just yesterday and the last 20 years especially have gone exceedingly fast. It seems to go faster and faster every day and if I stop and think about it it scares me. I can also relate to the poem. I think being a women and watching yourself ate is especially hard. It didn’t actually start to bother me until the last few years when the wrinkles begin to set in and the sun damage become obvious. I hate that it bothers me so much but sometimes I feel so trapped in society’s views of how women should look. Even my own mother recently had work done at 66 which is hard for me to understand. Anyway like what you said we are so fortunate to live a good life with health and travel that keeps you young. Hope your birthday was grand!

    • At some point I think you just have to accept the way you look or you will make yourself miserable. I would like to think it becomes less important as you get older, but I know it doesn’t for some. While I am not happy about the wrinkles, it is becoming long sighted that really annoys me. I hate glasses. I know I am lucky that I can see, but I miss my perfect vision.

      • Excellent point! πŸ™‚ I think it will be hardest for me when I can’t do all the active sports I enjoy.

  42. Happy Birthday, My Friend!! March 1st is my father’s b’day, so that is going to be easy to remember yours. Tonti Aguri! Even though late…LOL!

    • I hope your father had a great birthday too.

  43. Hope you had a wonderful day! I’m wondering the same thing…June 1 for me.

    • Being 60 is just fine…and we have 10 years to get used to being 70.

  44. Your post reminds me of Shakespeare’s poem.”The world’s a stage and all the men and women mainly players.One man in his life plays many parts.” Don’t worry about the mirror,it probably is playing its part.If you have a good life with an amazing family and awesome friends that’s what counts and nothing else.You might wonder who is this one? I am one of the bloggers,I enjoy reading posts and leaving my two cents worth before I leave.Have a great day.

  45. don’t look a day over 16 Deb

  46. Many Happy Birthday greetings Debra. Sorry I’m so late coming to your party. Sheesh looks at all the comments – you are a popular young lady Debra.
    What a fun zero birthday post. I love the poem. (I’m two years ahead of you and also want to return my mirror….)

    • Those awful mirrors can give you a fright.

  47. Thanks for visiting my blog. Did you know that 60 is nothing when looking at it from the summit of 77 ??? per me sei una bimba…

    • We just have to make the most of life.

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